The Joint Research Unit D&S (Development and Societies) was created in 2008 and is a social science research unit under the aegis of the French Institute for Research on Development (IRD) and the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.
The UMR D&S is a multidisciplinary unit that brings together anthropologists (2), sociologists (4), a political scientist (1), economists (4), a historian (1) and geographers (3).
In January 2021, the UMR D&S comprised:
- 5 researchers and 10 lecturers or professors
- 1 research engineer
- 1 support staff
- 23 doctoral students
- 2 post-doctoral students
- 35 associate researchers
The UMR D&S is dedicated to the multidimensional study of actions carried out in the name of development (plans, policies, devices) and their interactions with societies and territories, from the local to the global, also taking into account the transnational dimension. Considered as a socio-political and economic project, development is the object of a critical, comparative and historical analysis of discourses, norms, frameworks for action, as well as practices. Societies in the South are also analyzed as such, in their own internal dynamics.
The research carried out focuses in particular on the construction of inequalities and multifaceted vulnerabilities, their reproduction and their different uses by a set of social and political institutions (families, communities, networks, States, international solidarity actors) in contexts at risk or marked by a resurgence of social and political tensions, due to constrained aspirations. The UMR also focuses on political conflicts and their multi-scalar configurations (polarization, social movements, resistance, land and resource pressures).
This research is implemented in different contexts (particularly in Latin America, West Africa, the Mediterranean, and Asia (Cambodia, India, China, etc.) using quantitative and qualitative methodologies by a team of researchers and teacher-researchers from various disciplines (geography, history, economics, political science, sociology, anthropology).
The UMR has built up a solid network of partnerships: academic and institutional partnerships in the North and South; with the Centre d’Études de la Coopération Internationale et du Développement (CECID) of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) – Belgium, with the School of International Development and Globalization (EDIM) of the University of Ottawa – Canada, with the École Nationale Supérieure de Statistique et d’Économie Appliquée (ENSEA) of Abidjan – Côte d’Ivoire, with the Nutriset Group – France, with the General Lansana Konté University of Sonfonia Conakry – Guinea, with the Hassan II University of Casablanca, with the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) and with the University of São Paulo (USP) – Brazil. In terms of our international locations, Frédéric Bourdier has been based at the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) in India and Mohamed Ali Marouani is currently in Tunis as the IRD-CIRAD representative in Tunisia, where he is also leading one of the new Master 2 double degree courses in Development Studies at the Franco-Tunisian University for Africa and the Mediterranean (UFTAM), co-founded by the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.
RESEARCH AND TRAINING
In addition to this research, there are also research training activities. The UMR D&S maintains close links with the IEDES (Institut d’Etudes du Développement de la Sorbonne) and its members lead a teaching unit called “research dominant” within the Master 2 offered by the institute.